Chaplain of an Arkansas Black Regiment to the Adjutant General of the Army

De Vall's Bluff, Ark.  Feb. 28, 1866.

Sir.  Since my last Report (Jan 31) I have continued on duty in this regiment as its Chaplain.  In only one particular have the matters belonging to my sphere of action exhibited change that requires mention.  The Schools that for some months have been maintained are closed.  The Colonel (L. W. Whipple), as well as others, has for some time felt that the presence of persons not assigned by law to the organization, and yet holding intimate relations to its men, perhaps making them feel that their duties are irksome and needless, is unadvisable.  As the discipline and drill of this Regiment are unusually thorough, I cannot doubt the propriety of this feeling, though regretting (as does he) its result in this instance

The enlisted men of this Regiment have paid since last October for Schools (not including books &c) $728, as follows.
 
Co.
B
$165
   
 
"
D
27
   
 
"
E
25
   
 
"
F
115
   
 
"
G.
82
   
 
"
I
75
   
 
"
H
4
 
 
"
K
235
Total
$728
Cos. A and C are on detached service, as was Co. H until recently.

Besides this, they have paid $60 to maintain in Town, during the past two months, a School for Colored children, organizing a Society for that purpose, and conducting it with liberality and public spirit.  Thus the amount raised by them during the period referred to lacks but little ($12) of $800.  I have the honor to be, Respectfully Your obedient servant

Joel Grant

Chaplain Joel Grant to Brevet Major General L. Thomas, 28 Feb. 1866, filed with W-836 1865, Letters Received, series 360, Colored Troops Division, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives.

Published in The Black Military Experience, pp. 631–32.